Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Analysis
Fallen Order is the story of Cal Kestis, played by Cameron Monaghan (Gotham, Shameless), a former Padawan who survived the Clone Wars as well as the fall of the Jedi Order by Chancellor Palpatine and his acolytes. Refugee as a scrap dealer on Planet Bracca, trying to avoid the purge of those survivors of the Order (curiously a story told by The Power of the Force, the last purely singleplayer games of the galactic saga, although these are no longer canon and Fallen Order yes). He is accidentally forced to use his Force powers, so the Empire's radars lock on him and he begins a new exile to avoid being hunted by the Second Sister of the Inquisition .
In his new adventure to learn the origins of the extinct Jedi Order in order to refound it, he will have the help of the former Jedi Knight Cere Junda (Debra Wilson), the pilot Greez Dritus and the friendly droid BD-1 , all aboard the Mantis ship. The game needs to rely heavily on video scenes that are the ones that drive the pace of the plot, since by its very nature of metroidvania-style game, in which you explore and discover every last detail of its great level design (os we will tell more in a moment), there is not just an argumentative reason that is what prompts us to continue . For canon, we're talking about a pretty typical story of personal discovery (or rediscovery in this case) and lost files of former bosses and chieftains of the Jedi Order. All this peppered with a multitude of nods to the classic films ( chronologically it is framed between Episode III and Rogue One ) and the occasional slight twist that is not seen coming.
Mechanically we are facing a mixture of genres and elements that have worked in other titles and that do not always work here. As we said, the Mantis will be the personal hub where we can open the star map and change scenery . It is not a completely linear story precisely because of that division by planets, which means that we can travel back to a previous scenario to be able to go through certain areas that we could not access because we did not have the necessary power or object, and even that we travel to certain maps that at that time have nothing to do with the main plot to be able to carry out other types of tasks and discoveries by way of secondary missions. All this can take the bulk of the adventure to more than 20 hours for the most complete if you want to explore the bulk of what it has to offer.
As a game in which we carry a lightsaber , we will be eager to meet different threats to cut off, and bite the dust of the coolest weapon in history. However, the percentage of combats with respect to exploration will be rather low. Cal Kestis will learn new skills related to the Force in two different ways. On the one hand, some of them are directly linked to history. Kestis has certain memories that she suppressed for years to survive, so in certain plot moments a scene will appear as a flashback and she will remember something from her past training. On the other hand, completing objectives and killing enemies will give us experience points that we can exchange for other types of bonuses that exploit all the potential that lies within us.
Once we have almost all of the young Padawan's training unlocked, the fighting is most enjoyable. The objective fixation system increasingly present in third-person action titles has been chosen, especially in Action-RPGs. In this way, we have a much more tactical combat than in previous Star Wars titles in which we simply dedicate ourselves to unleash all the power that the connection with the Force allows us (Galen Marek, we have missed you). We can block, dodge, parry blocking at the right time, slow down the enemy, etc. To make the game feel a bit more challenging, the trick of a somewhat excessive difficulty is also used on occasions, as if the enemies were level, but this data is hidden from us and a simple hit of some oggdo in a cavern ends with our life in a couple of strokes.
The game also incorporates a couple of elements more or less taken from the Souls that do not quite fit together well . On the one hand, every time we die and are forced to respawn, we will have lost all unredeemed experience up to that point. That is why we will reappear in the meditation point that we activated for the last time and we will have to look for that same enemy to be able to recover our loot by simply hitting it. Losing souls in a Souls is much more organic and related to the backstory. Furthermore, Cal's health does not regenerate. BD-1 can heal us with stimulants in combat if we are battered. How to make us have full health again? Resting in the meditation points, which act like bonfires , and paying the price that the enemies regenerate and we have to complete certain combats over and over again in scenarios sometimes very linear to the goal and very linear back to the goal. Mantis (no fast travel), as much as we unlock shortcuts.
The first hours of Fallen Order are not overly interesting in terms of combat. The game does not have a well-defined enough progression to prevent us from getting frustrated with the most basic version of Cal Kestis and his Force powers, and the feeling of vulnerability is exaggerated in the third difficulty mode of the four possible, the one that more seems to be the standard in the balance between deflection time, damage taken, and enemy aggressiveness. Luckily, everything improves with the passing of the hours and the challenge of beating certain enemies, mini-bosses and bosses ends up being sufficiently satisfactory.
However, we came to Jedi Fallen Order attracted by combat and the possibilities of re-incarnating a Jedi and we ended up leaving this galaxy far, far away more satisfied with their style of level exploration . In many ways we are facing a kind of Uncharted that puts us ahead of scenarios taken from the Star Wars / Indiana Jones crossover that was never made and certain main and secondary puzzles that this time we will have to solve with the powers of the Force . It's a pretty good balance in terms of getting stuck and being able to move freely. Undoubtedly, the different nooks and crannies of each planet are quite well thought out and it is extremely satisfying to get to a visible chest but to which the access route is not easily found.
We are talking about chests and in an Electronic Arts game it is usually synonymous with panic over some kind of micropayment, but there is nothing to fear. All Jedi Fallen Order chests contain different types of cosmetic collectibles with which to vary different aspects of Cal and company , but there is no additional economic unit with which to buy them. Finding these collectibles we can vary different pieces of the lightsaber, its color, the tone of the BD-1 paint, the color of the Mantis and even Cal Kestis's wardrobe. Without a doubt, for those fans of skins and customization, it will be a bonus to visit and revisit each of the planets so as not to leave a secret to discover.
Perhaps one of the aspects that can generate the most discord has to do with the protagonist himself. When it was announced that Cameron Monaghan would be the main character, there was blind confidence, because every Gotham fan will know that his portrayals of villains that led to Joker were the best of the series and the redhead's acting talent is undeniable. However, Cal Kestis is not going to be the actor's best role . He is a too flat, uninteresting, monotonous character ... that is going to be completely overshadowed by a simple BD-1 droid that barely emits certain electronic sounds (although in his favor it must be said that he is easily placed at the level of R2 -D2, C-3PO and BB-8 and not in the drawer of oblivion like Iden Versio's robot). The choice of the Castilian dubbing actor does not help either, recommending you to use VO to minimize the tedium with this character.
Leaving aside Electronic Arts' policy of Frostbite as a common engine for all their titles, Respawn has opted to use the common Unreal Engine 4 for their galactic adventure. This causes a visual result not as impressive as one would expect for the generation heights in which we find ourselves. It will not be the spearhead with which we hope that the withered generation of PS4 and Xbox One will bid farewell. The UE4 has that generic finish that we saw in recent titles like Days Gone, mixing moments of brilliance (especially related to the great lighting ) with others quite poor in some textures or animations (seeing Kestis run is a drama). The soundtrack comes out better, managing to transport us to that distant galaxy, although without the impact of the best songs by John Williams.